Friday, December 21, 2018

Year End Reading Picks

Okay let’s have it. Your favourite end-of-year reading recommendations.

Books that stood out for me in 2019:

I have gone on about Travis Richardson's work being in the vanguard of short story writers irrespective of genre. Everyone knows this, what with the numerous award nominations and now a successful self-published short fiction collection. What makes Bloodshot and Bruised an achievement is how its stories frames each of the characters in their humanity, including frailty and confusion. We're able to laugh and cry and feel bewilderment at the folks depicted in Travis's work because we are those folks. Grab this book now. A special shout out to the poet Theresa Wong, Travis's one and only, who put together this lovely bound edition. I still have the promo button she gave me at Book Soup on my go-to sportcoat. I'm not taking it off.

Lori Rader-Day continues to be my jam. No one handles the reluctant sleuth quite like my dear counterpart from Chicago. Her latest, Under A Dark Sky, continues her path to success with the tale of Eden Wallace, striving to overcome the loss of her husband through the challenge of accepting her fear of the dark and winds up entangled in a murder where everyone is a suspect, including her, phobias, loss, or no. Lori Rader-Day knows the inner yearnings of her characters, and she sets her hero against inescapable darkness. It's another winner from the heir apparent to Gillian Flynn's misty, gaslit funk which she doubles-down upon with utter relatability. She's so dope.

The best non-crime book I've enjoyed is Norty Cohen's Join The Brand. As I dig into my responsibilities to Bronzeville Books in 2019, this workbook/workshop-style resource has helped me open my thinking to new types of brand strategies, all of which emanate from our core desire to be good to writers and readers. It's been a must-read since picking it up in the airport, and the exercises are wonderful for shaping thoughts and intentions around branding initiatives that make people feel inspired through a sense of belonging. I found it at the right time, and it's been good to me ever since.

Happy Holidays!


For those interested in the works to which I frequently refer, check out these titles at your local bookseller, your local library, or online where you enjoy purchasing your print and e-books. As always, thanks for your support and encouragement.


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